Headline Sep 30, 2015/ ''' [MASTER] MONTESSORI MANAGEMENT '''



Mark de Rand, a Cambridge academic who once rowed for the university, argues that most successful teams-

Are marked by internal competition and clashing egos as well as ''Kum Bay Yah'' style togetherness. 'A focus on interpersonal harmony can actually hurt team performance,'' he suggests.

Jake Breeden, a management thinker at Duke Corporate Education, worries that too much reliance on teamwork can create a culture of ''learned helplessness''  in which managers are terrified to take decisions without yet another round of consultations. 

Excessive collaboration, we discovered, can lead to the very opposite of creativity: groupthink, conformity and mediocrity. It is especially damaging at the top of the organization.

NAPOLEONS HAD a master point in his very loved dictum that :  ''one bad general is worth two good ones.''

''THE INTERNSHIP'', a film about two middle-aged no-hoppers who land work experience at Google, is a dire offering even by the standards of Hollywood summer comedies.

But it does get one thing right: that is rather absurd for a technology firm to provide slides for staff to play on, and to let them wear silly propeller hats. Google is not alone in its juvenile tastes.

Box, a Silicon Valley company. has installed swings in its headquarters. Red Bull, an energy-drinks firm, has a reception desk in the shape of a giant skateboard in its London office.

Businesses of all types have moved towards sitting workers in groups in  open-plan rooms, just like at nursery school.

Time was when firms modelled themselves on the armed forces, with officers [who thought about strategy]  and chains of command. Now many model themselves on learning-through-play  ''Montessori''  schools.

Montessori Management: has plenty of supporters in the higher reaches of business.  The bosses at  Google  {Larry Page and Sergey Brin], Amazon [Jeff Bezos]  and Wikipedia [Jimmy Wales] were all educated at Montessori schools.

So was will Wright, a  video-game pioneer. Messrs Page and Brin credit Montessori education with their enthusiasm for thinking differently. 

Mr Bezos thanks it for his enthusiasm for experimentation   -for ''planting seeds'' and  ''going down blind alleys'' as he puts it. Mr Wright says SimCity  ''comes right out of Montessori''.

The nostrum of some management gurus sound remarkable like those of the  ''progressive''  educationalist of the 1960s.

For example Garry Hamel, of  London Business School, and Jeffrey Pfeffer, of Stanford Business School, praise companies that dismantle hierarchies and encourage experimentation.

It is not just rich-world Businesses that are buying into philosophy: HCL Technologies, an Indian software company, invites workers to write assessments of their bosses and publish them.

But it would be wrong to conclude that the success of Google and Amazon vindicates Montessori management. 

Both companies have pragmatically mixed progressive ideas with more traditional ones such as encouraging internal competition and measuring performance. Mr Bezos is also an enthusiastic employer of  ex-military personnel.

As in education, when traditionalists have staged a counter revolution against the progressives, some academics are now questioning Montessori Management's basic assumption  

Particularly its faith in free flowing creativity and endless collaboration and all this open-plan.

But, yet, Mr Breeden argues, sensibly, that managers should treat collaboration and creativity as techniques rather than dogmas.

Diane Hoskins of Gensler speculates that her company's findings about open-plan offices are so striking that they mark  ''the beginning of a new era of workplace-organisation.''

Maybe, just maybe, !WOW! and Sam Daily Times should just stop and ponder that. Great progress may just follow?!  

With respectful dedication to !WOW!   -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless and Sam Daily Times  -the voice of the voiceless-.   

''' The Backlash '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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